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Genesis ships will homeport in Ft. Lauderdale

SmarterTravel

[% 15420 | | Royal Caribbean’s %] first Genesis ship is supposed to set sail in mid-2009, but until now no one knew from which port it would sail. According to an article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Royal Caribbean has reached an agreement with Ft. Lauderdale’s Port Everglades to base the 6,400-passenger ships there instead of Miami.

County commissioners still have to approve the deal, but if it goes through, Royal Caribbean will pay $37.4 million to improve the port (and levy a surcharge on passengers to cover the costs). The cruise line will also guarantee 17 million passengers over the next decade, regardless of whether it moves the ships to another port after the first year.

The introduction of these behemoth ships will significantly increase the cruise traffic at Port Everglades, but will also create 7,600 jobs. Can Ft. Lauderdale handle such a large-scale rise in tourist traffic? Will the ports be ready in less than two years to receive a Genesis ship? Send your opinions to cruise@smartertravel.com.

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